Google told the Financial Times that they want to share revenues with publishers who take advantage of their new subscription tools. Similar to its ad system, it would use machine learning know-how and a vast collection of user data to find potential new and renewing subscribers, and take a cut from sales when people take action. Unlike ads, where Google would take up to 30% of the money, the terms would be significantly more generous, according to Google. Google denies the idea that they are trying to take control from publishers in light of Facebook’s new subscription service, which uses Instant Articles that run on its own site.
This is what Google told the Financial Times:
“We want to have a healthy ecosystem where we’ll benefit both as a society and with our business. We are still working it out, we’re not experts in the subscription business, but the rev shares will be very, very generous.”
Google isn’t announcing any final details just yet, so there’s no guarantee that every major publisher will even accept these terms. What is clear, however, is that Google has come a long way from the days when they were feuding with publishers accusing it of profiting off their work with nothing in return. Google is also downplaying the idea that they locked articles behind subscription paywalls unless publishers agreed to offer free access to at least three articles per day. Now they’re dropping that hard and fast rule in favour of profiting when someone decides a story is worth a subscription.… Read the rest
I wrote an article last week about the AlphaGo and AlphaGo Zero “robots” that used machine learning to beat humans in Go. But I want to explore the technology behind what made all of that possible. If you want to read more about that particular battle, check out my previous post. Google is making progress in the field of machine learning at a startling rate. Their AutoML recently made jaws drop with its ability to self-replicate. DeepMind is now able to teach itself better than the humans who created it can. DeepMind is the machine behind both versions of AlphaGo.
The original AlphaGo has 48 AI processors. Built into the 48 processors is the data from thousands of Go matches. That’s right, I said thousands. When it was developed, it had a pretty decent understanding of the game. Over time, and with some help from humans, it began to learn the game and the nuanced strategies it needed to eventually succeed. Which is what happened when it was able to defeat the world’s top human player. This provided us (or them as it may be) with more AI supremacy. The game is extremely difficult. Some say that it makes chess look like checkers.
Google decided that AlphaGo wasn’t good enough. Which is where AlphaGo Zero came in. In fact, it was so good, it was able to defeat AlphaGo, literally at its own game, in only 40 days. 40 days, friends. … Read the rest
Home assistants are going to bring us so many changes to technology over the next couple of years. We can already turn on our lights, adjust our thermostats, see who is at our front door and get the news that we want in the morning. The other thing that we are going to see more of is the integration of these devices. Google, for example, has their smart speaker (and a few variations now), but they also have literally everything else – including the ability to watch TV on a Chromecast device, but they also own YouTube. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s no longer about just being able to turn something on. It’s becoming about integrating all of these devices into your life so that they can make your life easier.
You can already use your Google Home speaker in order to control regular YouTube videos if you have a Chromecast device. But now you can also use Home to watch YouTube TV. Google has enabled voice control for its cord cutting television service from Home speakers. Which makes it possible to change channels without even touching your remote. This is a great idea, but it also feels a bit lazy doesn’t it? I mean, you could literally just pick up your remote, couldn’t you?
You can ask the Google Assistant to play a specific channels or shows, and it’s even smart enough to pick up on some less straightforward requests. … Read the rest